Shannon + Jerry – Manning, Iowa



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From the bride: Jerry and I chose to get married on August 18 because my paternal and maternal grandparents both celebrated their wedding anniversaries on August 18.  It was a way to honor those who’ve come before us – my grandmother is our only surviving grandparent, so it was really special to get to share that day with her.  Additionally, my parents grew up in Manning, Iowa, so we found ourselves with this very unique opportunity to get married in the town my parents were married in on the day my grandparents were married and that set the stage for a very special day.

As I planned the wedding, I just kept coming back to the idea of wanting our friends and family walking away from the day feeling like they had fun.  We knew we were asking a lot of them to travel out to a small town in addition to many of them traveling from out of state.  We knew these people were dedicating their Saturday, and some dedicated their weekend, to our wedding, and so, we were determined to host, not just a wedding, but a bonafide party – and what party isn’t complete without balloons?!?  It just set the tone to our guests that there was an air of lightheartedness so they could relax and have fun.

Between the date and location, there was a lot of homage to my family history, so the cake and cards served as a nod to Jerry’s family.  Jerry’s Grandma Peg loved angel food cake and since it is such a delicate cake that sparked the idea of incorporating the cake as a centerpiece.

There’s not a family gathering that doesn’t end up in a competitive card game at the Sharkey household, so it was only natural to hand out a deck of cards as our wedding favors.  Guests were encouraged to pick up a game or two if they didn’t feel like dancing, but as it turned out, the dance floor was pretty full the whole night!

It’s always a tricky decision to choose between a band or a DJ because, in my opinion, I see them as co-hosts of the wedding and I think their energy directly influences that of the guests.  Jerry and I were fortunate enough to be friends with our DJ, and we called in a big favor as, believe it or not, this was Travis’ first (and last) wedding since he’s normally traveling across the country playing in clubs.  He did a fantastic job of playing songs that the parents would enjoy and transitioning to more current music as the night continued – we ended up having an awesome dance party!

 Between the tall cornfields and the gorgeous church, I knew that there was going to be a lot of photo opps, but I also knew that I had a very specific expectation for the outcomes of our wedding photos.  I was looking for photos that had a more fine art and portraiture approach than cheesy group shots.  Additionally, I really wanted the majority of the pictures to be outside, so skill with natural lighting was important.  My sister found Dana’s website and it was an immediate attraction.  The day of our wedding, she gushed over the setting, the bridal party – everything – and to know that she was super excited about the images she was capturing made me even more excited to see the results!  My favorite pic is where Jer and I are standing in the foreground; we’ve affectionately called it ‘American Gothic Wedding’.



Lori’s Flowers of Manning, Iowa for the bouquets and boutonnieres and my mom painstakingly planted flowers to display around the church

Hair:  Sirens at the Loft of Omaha, Nebraska

Make Up:  Adina Wright, Dallas, Texas – simply the best.  Snagging her schedule was just as important as booking the church!

Dress: Bridal Traditions 140th and W. Center Road Omaha, Nebraska

Food & cake : Jan’s Catering (the venue’s preferred caterer)

Invitations and stationary:  baumbirdy, etsy shop

DJ:  Travis Howe


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